If Only Words Could Keep Me Warm

by Mandy Troxel

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    Comes in a 2-pocket card case, including an insert of all song lyrics. Featuring photography by Anika Shaw and Mandy Troxel. Art direction by Robert Deeble.

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1.
Hello stranger again, hello stranger again... We bought this kitchen table 20 years ago today You cooked up some bacon, I put some flowers in a vase Funny how the years can seem a day or two ago When at the same time I’m looking back at people I don’t know. Hello Stranger again, hello stranger again Either we call the whole thing off or start from scratch again Either way you look at it it’s a curious sort of end Hello stranger, stranger again. I know just how you treated me and how I treated you It’s an awful lot of shit we’ve done for strangers to work through 20 years of first impressions are a hard thing to forget When you’re asking for another chance like I haven’t tried that yet You say that you are different now I’m sure that’s mostly true And even you cannot deny I’m a whole lot different too And if our two new selves should happen upon each other on the street I must confess I have my doubts that they should ever meet We bought this kitchen table 20 years ago today....
2.
I guess it’s nobody’s fault but my own I guess I have to admit it though I can hardly believe it when you say you love me How it happened I can’t even guess ‘Cause I am clumsy in love at best A work in progress, it’s plain to see Yet despite this you’ve chosen me Was it something I did? Was it something I said? Or some crazy idea that you got in your head? I’m thinking that it’s too good to be true When you want me to stay with you Love’s a mystery, but I admit I could’ve had something to do with it Was it something I did? Was it something I said? Or some crazy idea that you got in your head? I guess it’s nobody’s fault but my own I guess I have to believe it Though I can hardly admit it When you say you love me
3.
Don’t make me break your heart again We’ve been through all of this before You don’t have to change your locks I won’t be standing at your door I won’t be stringing you along I’m all done making up my mind Don’t make me break your heart again Because it breaks mine every time I thought that I would be with you forever I meant it when I promised to be true But now I find I’m saying to you “never” And don’t you think I’m not aware of how this sounds to you Don’t make me break your heart again ‘Cause every time that I explain I’m calling back the way it was when I was taking all the blame You don’t remember it that way You say that everything was fine Don’t make me break your heart again because it breaks mine every time This isn’t just a moment’s lapse of reason A fickle change of heart to make you sore ‘Cause I have been unhappy for a season A winter so much longer than the ones that came before And if I break your heart again it’s not because I just don’t care I’m not indifferent to the past It’s something that we’ll always share And maybe when all this is through we can be each other’s friend For now I have to break your heart and my own heart needs to mend.
4.
Forgive yourself. It could have happened to anyone. You are only human, you do the best that you can. You made a choice. You didn’t have much to go on. You could not know the outcome. You do the best that you can. You live your life and you love your children, but you are only human. You do the best that you can. Hold on to all that is true. Do what you need to get through, but be kind to yourself, be kind to yourself, be kind Forgive yourself. It could have happened to anyone. You are only human, you do the best that you can. You try to love with a heart that is broken. And with all that’s been spoken You do the best that you can Hold on to all that is true. Do what you need to get through. But be kind to yourself, be kind to yourself, be kind. Forgive yourself. It could have happened to anyone You are only human, you do the best that you can
5.
Just Lonely 04:42
She takes honey with her tea amidst the stacks of books from the library Or talks for hours with her friends telling stories, making plans Or heads to the beach all on her own Fills her pockets full of wishing stones Her life is full and she’s feeling blessed but what is this rising in her chest? Maybe all of the stars align, and she’s at the right place at the right time Maybe it’s all meant to be, or maybe she’s just lonely... He’s saying things like she’s never heard and she’s hanging on his every word She can’t get him off her mind and she’s mad at herself for wasting time ‘Cause they came too easy to be true and she reckons he’s just lonely too But who is she to second guess what it is he’s feeling in his chest? Maybe all of the stars align, and he’s at the right place at the right time Maybe it’s all meant to be, or maybe he’s just lonely... So you’re lonely, that’s ok What’s a matter with that anyways? It’s as good as any place to start when it comes to matters of the heart We’re all a little lonely... One by one or hand in hand we trace our stories in the sand We’re either terrified or out to play but the tide will take us either way So walk with me to the ocean blue and I will find a wishing stone for you You can cast it out into the sea or you can cast that stone at me Maybe all of the stars align, and we’re at the right place at the right time Maybe it’s all meant to be, And maybe we’re just lonely...
6.
When the sun set on the western shore one year ago today You acknowledged that you needed more one year ago today You knew just what you had to do Could it be much worse than what you’ve been through But some strong tide was pulling you One year ago today You were fighting hard to stay afloat one year ago today You were captain of your own lifeboat one year ago today And when it came to sink or swim You looked hard at your own horizon And you struck out for the land therein one year ago today. Did you think it was too close to call one year ago today Did you think that you’d be here at all one year ago today And when your feet hit solid ground did you take a breath and look around You had no idea what could be found one year ago today Did you think that you would come this far one year ago today That your path had its own guiding star one year ago today Do you know you’re an amazing sight just to see you standing in the light How’d you know that it was worth the fight One year ago today Do you know you’re an amazing sight Just to see you shining in the light How’d you know that you were worth the fight one year ago today
7.
Arlene, Arlene and the Fourth of July She had a light like the colors that lit up the sky but my grandma, she had a certain sparkle in her eye the kind that would not fade away It was the summer of ‘27 and Grandma was sixteen and Grandpa had a car They’d been friends since grade school when they both moved to town from their old midwestern farms There was this girl from out of town and her name was Arlene She was the prettiest girl these kids had ever seen Their folks were all friends and asked Gram if she’d be willing to show Arlene around So Grandma called Grandpa, who called his friend Charlie And they jumped in the Chevy to pick up the fair Arlene Drove down to the high school for the 4th of July and the fireworks display But there was a fire in the hills above town that night and it raged through the brush and brightened the sky and the cars lined up to take in the sight for the foothills were glowing. Now, Grandpa was handsome but Grandpa was shy and ol’ Chuck in the backseat he was an outgoing guy and if you ask Grandma how she and Gramps got together she’ll say “someone had to sit in the front seat with the driver” And they don’t recall what the kids in the back seat were doing but the kids in the front seat well they got to talking and in just a few years down the aisle they were walking and the rest is history Arlene, Arlene and the Fourth of July She had a light like the colors that lit up the sky but my grandma, she had a certain sparkle in her eye the kind that would not fade away
8.
Well you can't see the stars for the light on the street and you can't go to bed for the noise or the heat your walking the floor and the sound of your feet is the dusty guitar waltz (Chorus) So take your partner down to your knee and tug at her heartstrings tenderly She'll whisper a song, a sweet melody in the dusty guitar waltz The lights are all low but you know that she's there It's hard not to notice the silence you share is it love or regret that keeps you aware of the dusty guitar waltz (chorus) I'm sorry I left you I promise to stay I've been missing you so much since I went away She tries to believe him she tries not to show that his fingers betray him much more than he knows This dusty guitar has been silent so long that you fear if you play her the notes will be wrong You're forgetting that there is always a song in the dusty guitar waltz (chorus)
9.
Blackberry pie for breakfast Blackberry pie for lunch Come on over in between and we’ll have a blackberry brunch I confess it I’m a sinner So let’s have blackberry pie for dinner Just to keep my conscience clear I saved a big piece for you dear Adam and Eve, sitting in the garden Baking blackberry pie in their solar oven Naked as jaybirds, singing a song They were picking blackberries all the day long Didn’t need clothes, they were feeling just fine ‘Cause there weren’t no thorns on the blackberry vines Nettles didn’t meddle in the task at hand And the thistles just tickled ‘em where they’d stand. Blackberry pie.... Now, even back then in the days of old Children didn’t do what their daddy told Sittin’ in the tree of right and wrong the devil had a plan and they went along Adam and Eve got kicked out of Eden But there’s still blackberries ripe for the pickin’ But watch your step now, sure as you’re born you’re gonna get stuck by the blackberry thorn Blackberry pie... The sun’s gonna shine and the clouds are gonna rain The old world turns and the seasons change You try to be good and you work real hard But the berry vines still take the yard So put on some jeans and an old sweatshirt And pick those berries till it hurts Hold your bucket up to the sky And thank the Good Lord for Blackberry Pie! Blackberry pie...
10.
I’ll open my heart to you I’ll open my heart to you I’ll open my heart to you Because you’re here Look what I have made for you a table has been laid for you A fresh bed has been made for you Because you’re here You can’t help what you’ve been through There’s so much we can’t undo But I can open my door for you Because you’re here I’m clearing a space for you I’m making a place for you I’m praying for grace for you Because you’re here I’m wanting the world for you There’s nothing that you can do to prove this kind of love untrue Because you’re here When you open your heart to me there’s no place I’d rather be Your trust is your gift to me because you’re here. I’ll open my heart to you I’ll open my heart to you I’ll open my heart to you Because you’re here
11.
There’s a house on my block that’s abandoned and cold Folks moved out of it a long time ago And they took all their things and they never came back Looks like it’s haunted with the windows all cracked And everyone calls it the house, the house where nobody lives Once it held laughter, once it held dreams Did they throw it away? Did they know what it means? Did someone’s heart break Did somebody do somebody wrong? Well the paint was all cracked It was peeled off of the wood Papers were stacked on the porch where I stood And the weeds had grown up just as high as the door There were birds in the chimney And an old chest of drawers Looks like no one will ever come back to the House were nobody lives Once it held laughter.... So if you find someone Someone to have, someone to hold Don’t trade it for silver, don’t trade it for gold ‘Cause I have all of life’s treasures And they are fine and they are good But they remind me that houses are just made of wood What makes a house grand ain’t the roof or the doors If there’s love in a house it’s a palace for sure Without love it ain’t nothin but a house A house where nobody lives words & music by Tom Waits (Jalma Music)
12.
If only words could keep me warm I’d be asleep by now If promises were kindling, we’d be fine. We’d be sprawled by the woodstove, toasting our tiptoes watching the shadows as flames crackled high But the woodbin is empty, the stove’s full of ash You can’t heat a house up on promises past The bedclothes are tossed on the floor in a heap I’ve given up trying to get me some sleep I’m going to take all the sweet things in life big and small And wind them all up like some big woolen ball I’m going to knit up a blanket so cozy and warm And wrap it around us to weather this storm And we’ll snuggle in deep and we’ll watch the moon rise and before you know it we’ll be rubbing our eyes and with my arms around you, the blanket round me I’ll feel you sigh as we drift off to sleep...
13.
In a town this size there is no place to hide Everywhere you go, you meet someone you know You can’t steal a kiss in a place like this How the rumors do fly in a town this size In a smoky bar. In the backseat of your car In your own little house someone’s sure to find you out What you do and what you think What you eat and what you drink If you smoke a cigarette they’ll be talkin’ about your breath In a town this size... Oh, I had a fight with my boyfriend last night Before the moon went down, it was all over town How he made me cry, how I said good-bye If it’s true or not doesn’t seem to count a lot In a town this size...

credits

released January 18, 2014

Mandy Troxel, Guitar and Vocals
Bruce Harvie, autoharp, background vocals, bass, bass harmonica, dobro, mandolin, omnichord, pump organ, snare, telecaster, ukulele (you get the picture)
Jed Jedrzejewski, vocals on “Break Your Heart”
Annette Marsden, Accordian
Anita Orne, Banjo
Walter O’Toole, harmonica
John Polstra, pedal steel
Mary Wachter, violin
Maizie, canine ambiance
Special thanks to the good people of Eastsound for singing on “A Town This Size”

Produced by Bruce Harvie and Mandy Troxel
Mixed and Mastered by Bruce Harvie at Olgabowl Studio, Orcas Island
Front Cover photograph by Anika Shaw.
Art direction by Robert Deeble w/assistance by Deyo Glines

All songs written by Mandy Troxel ©2014 excepting:
The House Where Nobody Lives by Tom Waits (Jalma Music)
In A Town This Size by Kieran Kane (Family Style Publishing)

Special thanks to those of you who have given me the sweet things of life, big and small. Bruce Harvie, you are an island gem. Thanks to all the large-hearted musicians on the album. Big Love to Kari, Cathy, Laurie & Lisa, Amy and their families; Robert & Anastasia Deeble, the Woodsong community, the Indralaya Deep Singers, and my kickstarter backers. Thanks to Andy. Molly & Lucy, I love you.

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Mandy Troxel

"With a folky voice of clarity that reminds one of early Emmylou Harris, Troxel navigates the waters of love lost and found with songs that offer memorable lines, but no easy answers." - Bill Mallonee

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